HOME OPENER- Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz, Oct. 30 at American Airlines Center (7:30)
Coming off a one-point loss Tuesday night in San Antonio, the Dallas Mavericks return home to host the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Game will tip at 7:30 and will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest with Mark Followill, Derek Harper and Jeff “Skin” Wade.
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LOSS TO THE SPURS
The Mavericks led in the third quarter before falling behind by 10 midway through the fourth. Dirk Nowitzki‘s jumper with 1:37 left gave the Mavericks the 100-98 lead before Tony Parker hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 1:07 to play. Nowitzki scored 18 while Monta Ellis had a game-high 26. Devin Harris added 17 points off the bench. It was Dallas’ 10-straight loss to San Antonio during regular-season play. The Mavericks also fell to 20-15 in season openers in team history.
Chandler Parsons had a terrific preseason, but struggled in his first regular-season game with the Mavericks, scoring just five points in 34 minutes. He did have one nice play, dunking the ball for his first points, but missed the go-ahead 3-point field goal with seconds to spare. Parsons will look to get back on track against the Jazz after averaging 15 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in two games last season with Houston.
2013 HOME OPENER
Last year, the Mavericks opened up their season by playing at home against the Atlanta Hawks. It was Monta Ellis’ Mavs debut and it couldn’t have gone any better. Ellis dropped 32 points while Dirk added 24 as the Mavericks got off to a good start, winning 118-109. Mavs are 11-5 in home openers in Dirk’s 16 years with the team. Dallas has won its last two and three of last four.
MAVS v JAZZ 2013
The Mavericks swept the season series with Utah last season. Three were decided by 10 or more as Dallas won by an average of 12.8 points. Nowitzki averaged 22.5 points on 64.6 percent shooting and 5.8 rebounds in those games. Ellis sat at a very efficient 20 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game vs Utah last season. Dirk’s best game came in the teams’ third meeting on March 12 – He passed John Havelick on the NBA’s all-time scoring list:
SERIES OVER THE YEARS
Since Dirk’s first year, the Mavericks lost their first six meetings with the Jazz. Since then they’ve gone 33-19 vs Utah in the regular season, having won 13 of the last 16 match ups. The Mavericks have Utah’s number in the playoffs, winning 3-2 in the 2001 postseason. Overall, Dallas is 36-27 against Utah in the Dirk era. Including playoffs, Dirk has scored nearly 1,500 points in the series, an average of 24 points in 61 career games vs the Jazz.
FAVORITE DALvUTA MOMENT
I could go anywhere with this. You talk about Dirk’s early days and all their match ups with Karl Malone and John Stockton, but I’m going with one more recent. I still remember watching this live and going just as crazy as the fans there at the AAC that day. Dirk dropped 32 and with his game winner, it helped Dallas clinch a playoff berth AND 50 wins for the 8th straight season. At that time, San Antonio was the only other team to do that – nine in a row.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Mavericks were 26-15 last year and are averaging 30 wins at home per season (minus lockout years) in the Dirk era. Since Dirk came on the scene in Big D, the Mavericks finished each season with a winning record at home and are 458-174 overall in Dallas. However, the Mavs have been losing more at home in recent years. They won 23 in the lockout 2011-12 season and 24 and 26 the past two seasons. Dallas averaged 32 wins at home from 2001-2011.
NEW FACE, DIFFERENT PLACE
Richard Jefferson spent all of last season in Utah, playing 82 games with 78 starts. In 27 minutes per game, Jefferson averaged 10.1 points, his most in four seasons, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He shot 45, 41 and 74 percent from the field, 3-point line and free-throw line, respectively. Jefferson scored 10 or more points 41 times with Utah. His best game with the Jazz came in a 111-105 win Nov. 13 over the Pelicans, where he recorded 22 points, three boards and four dishes. Against the Spurs, Jefferson scored six points in 13 minutes.
The Jazz have one of the younger teams in the NBA. On their 15-man roster, the average age is 23.8 years old. Utah has 14 players at 27 and younger and 11 are just 24 and younger, including 19-year-old Dante Exum, the 5th overall pick from this year’s draft.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Chandler Parsons and how he’ll respond after a rough debut will definitely be one thing to watch for. Another will be Gordon Hayward, who has to be Utah’s best player. After his best season of his career last year, how will Hayward look this season? Though the Mavs have had Utah’s number in recent history, let’s see how the experienced Dallas team handles the young bucks of the Jazz. Match up to watch for- Parsons vs Hayward.
Dirk surpassed the 26,800 mark in career points and now sits 142 points from Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon for 9th all time.
9. Olajuwon- 26,946
10. Dirk- 26,804
Utah has come to Dallas to play the Mavericks in their home opener twice since the 1998-99 season. The two teams have split, Utah defeated Dallas in Dirk’s home debut in February of 1999 while the Mavs won in their 2003-04 home opener.